British couple killed in Spanish flash flood

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British couple killed in Spanish flash floodPA


A British couple have died in Spain after being swept away in a flash flood at a market in the town of Cala Finestrat, which is just seven miles from Benidorm, on the Costa Blanca.

Kenneth and Mary Hall, both in their 70s, were hit by a torrent of water after heavy rain inland caused the torrent to rush downhill into a dip where the street market was being held.

A witness said people had tried to save the couple but couldn't.

The couple were sitting outside a cafe-stall at the weekly market when they were hit by a wall of water, up to a metre high.

One onlooker said that the woman clung to an awning, but was hit by another stall that was washed away by the water.

The couple's bodies were found trapped under a trailer after the flood.

Peter Desaunois, from Finestrat, witnessed the couple being swept away.

He said: "The water came down the hill in a big wave. It was so powerful it broke the stones away from the wall and then the whole wall fell and was carried by the water down the hill. So much water came down.

"At that very moment an elderly couple who were at the market near the beach got swept away. There was a big panic, everyone tried to help them but couldn't.

"About five to eight minutes later four ambulances arrived and the fire brigade. Other people got hurt too. It all happened in just a second. It rained so hard."

Government official Jose Perez Grau told the Associated Press news agency that it had been raining heavily inland for about 25 minutes before the incident, which happened at about midday on Friday. It had not been raining in the town itself.

Another two people were taken to hospital and a 90-year-old was missing for a time but later found unharmed in a nearby street.

The authorities in Finestrat have declared two days of official mourning for the couple, who had been on holiday in Benidorm.

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